Turkey seeks to ‘reverse’ brain drain with generous research grants

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Micorscope is used by researcher who use her hands holding and adjusting while science research in laboratory

In a bid to encourage scientists who have moved abroad to return home and attract foreign researchers, Turkey is offering new incentives. Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank announced on Wednesday that the government would allocate up to TL 720,000 ($95,000) for researchers from abroad to conduct studies.

Varank was speaking at an event in the capital Ankara to introduce the new stage of the International Leader Researchers Program which was launched in 2018. The program, overseen by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), aims to boost the country’s “locally-made initiative” that seeks to end dependence on industrial imports and promote national innovations and research and development.

Varank says they aim to attract younger researchers in the new stage. “We hope to bring at least 100 scientists to our country this year,” he said. Applicants benefit from grants, while the government covers expenses for their household, provides health insurance and other expenses, in addition to the up to TL 720,000 grant. The minister said they would also hand out TL 1 million to researchers for their projects as an initial research grant.

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